Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Bush-appointed intelligence commission whitewashes war based on lies

By Bill Van Auken
1 April 2005

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The report released Thursday by the White House-appointed Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction was entirely predictable. It follows the same pattern as the whitewashes performed last year for the Bush administration by the 9/11 Commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Like those earlier investigations, the WMD panel’s document serves up recommendations promoting an intensification of militarism abroad and police-state measures at home.

This so-called “independent” commission was handpicked by Bush and directed to concern itself solely with “intelligence failures” concerning the war in Iraq. It was constituted a little over a year ago for the political purpose of countering incontrovertible evidence that the Bush administration went to war against Iraq on the basis of lies.

Presenting the report at a White House press conference Thursday, Bush read out a prepared statement praising the very intelligence community that, according to the document, had been “dead wrong in almost all of its pre-war judgments about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.” After completing his statement, Bush turned on his heels and walked through a door that shut behind him.

The gesture was unmistakable: as far as the administration was concerned, the controversy over non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was now closed.

Bush concluded his remarks by declaring, “ an age in which we are at war, the consequences of underestimating a threat could be tens of thousands of innocent lives.” He continued: “And my administration will continue to make intelligence reforms that will allow us to identify threats before they fully emerge so we can take effective action to protect the American people.”

Yet, if one were to take the report at face value, the lesson would be that the consequences of overestimating a threat have already included the destruction of the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqis and over 1,700 US, British and other foreign troops. For both the Iraqi and American people, moreover, the result of acting on unfounded threats “before they fully emerged”—the policy of preventive war—has proven an unmitigated disaster.

The issue in the Iraq war, however, was not one of false estimations in either direction, but rather the deliberate deception of the American people on a massive scale for the purpose of executing plans for conquering Iraq that had been drawn up well before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and even before the Bush administration took office.

“Scathing” is the adjective that the media has invariably used in describing the assessment in the 618-page public version of the report of the performance of the Central Intelligence Agency and other US intelligence organizations in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. What has drawn less attention is how the panel’s slavish defense of the Bush administration has left the US president and all of his senior advisors unscathed.

Over a dozen times in the document, the commission dismisses charges that the false intelligence used to justify the war on Iraq was the product of political pressure or outright fabrication on the part of the White House and the Pentagon’s civilian leadership. Yet the charges themselves are referred to only in a footnote that lists a series of news stories detailing instances in which such pressure was more than evident.

These includes the attempts by Vice President Dick Cheney to extort damning evidence against Iraq by browbeating CIA analysts, and the retaliation against Joseph Wilson—who blew the whistle on the phony intelligence concerning alleged Iraqi uranium purchases in Niger—by exposing his wife as a covert CIA agent. Also listed are articles that quoted CIA and State Department officials saying that they were coerced into producing intelligence that indicted Iraq on weapons violations.

Dismissing all of the evidence, the report states baldly: “The Commission found no evidence of political pressure ...Link..."


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